The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is getting the reboot treatment, but with a major twist. Will Smith, who broke through as the star of the ’90s sitcom, is producing a grittier dramatic remake inspired by a fan trailer made by Morgan Cooper last year. The series already landed a two-season order on a major streaming service. Here’s everything else to know about the upcoming Bel-Air.
Bel-Air premieres February 13, directly after the Super Bowl.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is taking a dramatic turn in the new trailer (above) for Bel-Air. The first look at the upcoming reboot introduces all the series’ beloved characters—Will, Ashley, Hilary, Uncle Phil, Aunt Viv, Carlton, and more—but with a very different tone. Though the core plot of the series remains the same—a teenage Will moves from Philadelphia to Bel-Air to live with his wealthy family—this time around, the show will center around how Los Angeles doesn’t always change one’s life for the better.
It will dive deeper into Will’s backstory.
Cooper’s viral short film, which has garnered more than 2.5 million views since it was posted it in March 2019, delves deeper into Will’s backstory in West Philadelphia before his mother sent him to live with his family in the wealthy Los Angeles neighborhood of Bel-Air.
“With a reimagined vision, Bel-Air will dive deeper into the inherent conflicts, emotions and biases of what it means to be a Black man in America today, while still delivering the swagger and fun nods to the original show,” Deadline reported of the reboot.
The Smiths’ production company is involved.
Bel-Air has reportedly been in the works for more than a year, after the YouTube video caught the original fresh prince’s attention, per The Hollywood Reporter. Smith even told Cooper the idea was “brilliant,” per Deadline.
The hour-long series will be produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith‘s Westbrook Studios and Universal Television. Cooper will direct and co-executive-produce the series. He’s also co-writing with The Wire‘s Chris Collins, who’ll serve as an executive producer and showrunner.
It was picked up by Peacock.
The Fresh Prince will return home to NBC via its new streaming service, Peacock. The platform nabbed a two-season order of the reboot.
Announcing the news in a video call, Smith said it’s “unprecedented” to go straight from a pitch to a two-season order. “I’ve been in this business for 30 years, and that does not happen.”
Collins agreed, “Nothing says, ‘We believe in this show,’ like a two-season commitment.”
Considering the legacy of the original series, a number of streaming platforms were vying to host Bel-Air, including Netflix, HBO Max, Amazon, and Apple, according to Deadline.
It’s still unclear when the reboot will premiere. The original Fresh Prince ran from 1990 to 1996 on NBC. The episodes are currently available to stream on HBO Max.
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US